The JAX Chamber board of directors set its 2012 priorities and goals to focus on regional economic growth.
“We identified six priorities that will help us drive jobs and business growth,” said JAX Chamber Chair Tom Van Berkel, chairman and CEO of The Main Street America Group, in a news release.
“Our chamber’s leadership is inspired to make our community the best it can be in every area,” he said.
The 2012 board priorities include developing Downtown, enhancing the port of Jacksonville, strengthening sports and entertainment attractions, helping local businesses grow, improving education and increasing the area’s community pride.
Here are the JAX Chamber board statements in more detail:
• Downtown development. Developing Downtown is essential for the region’s success. The chamber recently announced the redesign of its headquarters as Downtown’s new front door. The board supports the creation of a Downtown Development Authority to help generate interest and encourage economic development in the city’s core as well as marketing efforts to educate residents about Downtown. “Downtown development is an important step to recharge our region’s economy,” said JAXUSA Partnership Chair Robert Hill, president and CEO of Acosta.
• The port of Jacksonville. The port of Jacksonville is an economic driver for job creation and high-wage jobs. The chamber will continue to work with the Jacksonville Port Authority to advocate for port investment and progress. Leaders also want to develop strategic partnerships with other Florida ports for marketing and advocacy.
• Sports and entertainment. Sporting and entertainment events add to the quality of life and provide significant economic benefits for the Jacksonville region. They also raise awareness about the region as a destination and drive business development.
• Buy Chamber. The chamber will continue to develop and expand its Buy Chamber program, helping member businesses grow by enabling their owners to more easily market to other chamber members. Plans include the development of a corporate buying program.
• Education. Education, called the key to success, provides the knowledge and skills necessary to compete and prosper in a challenging marketplace. High-wage job growth relies on an educated workforce. The chamber will work with local organizations focused on education to engage the business community and serve as the resource for information about the educational system and promote programs in our area.
• Community pride. The #ilovejax Twitter campaign is an initiative the chamber launched late last year when an Innovate Northeast Florida survey indicated the need to improve local residents’ perception of the region.